News

Tacoma, WA: At Least 170 Detainees Launch Hunger Strike Against Family Seperations

It's Goin Down - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 08:53

The post Tacoma, WA: At Least 170 Detainees Launch Hunger Strike Against Family Seperations appeared first on It's Going Down.

Report from Northwest Detention Center resistance on the latest hunger strike that is taking place inside the Tacoma detention facility, the scene of outside ongoing #OccupyICE protests.

This last Saturday we showed up outside the Detention Center like we often do, but this time we had Mariachi bands and we sang and danced as we shouted #ChingaLaMigra and #AbolishICE. We sang and we danced, honoring our belief in a world with freedom of movement for all, a world with no detention, no deportation, a world where families are not forcibly separated from each other by border agents.

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Vigil for hunger strikers

Posted by NWDC Resistance/Resistencia al NWDC on Monday, July 16, 2018

While we were there, people detained inside the NWDC decided to begin a hunger strike. They called us from inside the Detention Center to let us know. This is what hunger strikers told us over the phone on Saturday:

The people detained in the NWDC are appalled by what has been done to parents and their children at the border. They want those families released immediately from detention and reunited, and then all the parents detained at the NWDC released.

They are doing this action as a solidarity action and will go for three days or at least 9 meals. Geo Group (who owns and operates the Detention Center) has already begun retaliation against those on hunger strike, including threats by guards saying if they don’t eat, “things will be really bad” for them. There are at least 2 pods confirmed who started their hunger strike yesterday, Saturday, with a total of at least 170 people.

As those who are detained in the NWDC put their bodies on the line while on hunger strike, we on the outside will amplify their message. We will let them know that they are not alone. For updates on the hunger strikes and our work, follow us on FB or IG and head to our website to sign up for our email list.

Categories: News

House GOP questions FBI lawyer for second day

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 06:22

House GOP questions FBI lawyer for second day | 16 July 2018 | House Republicans grilled former FBI lawyer Lisa Page behind closed doors on Monday as they sought to make the case that bias influenced the bureau's investigations of President Trump and Hillary Clinton. It was the second day of a grueling interview for Page, whose emails and text messages with FBI agent Peter Strzok have been cited by GOP lawmakers as suggesting the FBI was biased against the Republican presidential candidate. Lawmakers from the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform committees remained mostly tight-lipped on the details of her testimony, though multiple Republicans praised her as cooperative and forthcoming.

Categories: News

Russian gun activist arrested as 'foreign agent', lawyer calls it misuse of law

Citizens for Legitimate Government - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 06:00

Russian gun activist arrested as 'foreign agent', lawyer calls it misuse of law | 16 July 2018 | The Russian gun activist who was arrested in Washington, DC is not an agent of the Kremlin and the Department of Justice (DOJ) is misusing the law to charge her as such, the attorney for Maria Butina said. Butina, 29, was arrested on Sunday and jailed pending a hearing scheduled on Wednesday, the DOJ said in a statement on Monday. She was charged with "conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without prior notification to the Attorney General." Charges against Butina are "simply a misuse of the Foreign Agent statute, which is designed to punish covert propaganda, not open and public networking by foreign students," Butina's attorney Robert Driscoll said in a statement.

Categories: News

Anarchy & Escapism

Anarchist News - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 03:34
can we find a way out?

by shinminmetroskyline

what is the goal of an anarchist, if not to escape? escape, that is, from the mundane, unpleasant, needless devouring insanity of modern ‘life’. life there wearing scare quotes because the stagnant uniformity of the modern landscape doesn't mix well with the motion and diversity i strongly associate with the vibrant phenomena of life on earth. perhaps this is because this city i live in is a two-bit refrigerated nightmare, but the clawing drone of rushhour tokyo is scarcely less oppressive. despite all its apparent motion, its glitter-ridden and glowing ediface, tokyo too wears that cloak of smog and stagnant philosophies, of mundaity and broken dreams, even if it does so with an alluring macabre flare and a spectacular grandiosity.

so what is the desire to escape if not healthy, hedonistic, honest? epicurean even, in the -relatively- colloqial sense? why does seemingly so little of our discussion involve what we as anarchists actually do to escape, how we actually spend our time? it seems like almost everyones’ instinct when confronted with this modern world weve worked so hard to create is to escape; quickly, and as much as possible, self identified anarchist or not. ive been on lefbook. ive walked around malls. it isnt the attempt at escape i find nauseating about those places, its the links that bring the would-be-escapee back to their cell, the links i see between the escape now, and the later return to this massifying leviathan. the consumerism, the bland philosophy, the fake smiles, the empty talk, the poses, the show, the spectacle. youve been outside too, you know what i mean. and yet stigma still sticks to the idea of escape, it stillholds that air of naughtiness, perhaps even criminality. we’re supposed to be working, we chide ourselves.

but work can get fucked. i work, and it can still get fucked. update; i used to work. work is a time for podcasts, music, and a healthy dose of air guitar and middle class leftovers whilst the chefs arent looking. the food waste in that miserable self-important canteen reduced me to -and would continue to reduce me to if i still worked there- actual salt-and-water tears. but i digress.

so what have i been doing to entertain myself? where has my time been going? the first time i tried to write this thing the answer was ‘nowhere pleasant’. indeed it was not a pleasant time for me, and i can probably expect many more periods like it, from now until the day i die. but ive bared with myself, and ive bared with the world -the world immediate that is-. the days have gotten colder, and so have my feet. it still rains in the kitchen. i havent hoovered my room in months, though ive gone over the rancid carpet of that upstairs bar far too many times. whoever put carpet in a bar can suck a rotten lemon. update; i have now hoovered my room.

one thing i have been doing though, probably adding to my image as a certified crazy-person to those with whom i am closest, is scribbling out a new code in which to write english; a new alphabet, after a sorts. its been very meditative, rushing my pen around to reveal shapes that i actually want to draw. the letter c can go fuck itself. ive tried to build in enough cryptological feautures so as to make it as unbreakable as i am capable, though of course keeping it off the internet was the first and most important step in keeping it secret. perhaps ill even teach to someone whose interested, if they exist, providing i know and trust them enough -including, but ot limited to themnotbeing a person of the internet variety-. of course, if everything goes well the code will never be tested. yet cryptology has always been an interest of mine, even if ive never been fantastic at it; not the making, or the breaking. indeed ive just found another potential topic, cryptology and anarchism. there were many labels i could hear applied to myself whenever i let my guard down, whenever my mind turned back on to its usual whirring overanalysis. many insults, many labels, many paranoid self-diagnoses. thats the usual for me. but ive been slowly learning to turn it back off. and i have page after pages of monotonous, meaningles frantic scribblings to thank for it! huzzah! theyre going onto the next fire of course; outwardly for secrecy, but who doesnt like a good ritual book burning?

ive been listening to audiobooks, going for walks. i sketched my leg a couple nights ago. i cuddle that person closest to me, we have pretty darn fun sex -not that i have much to compare it to, and indeed not that i care that much that i dont-. on that note though, my suspisciously-christian '''secular''' upbringing has left me woefully undeprepared for a grownup conversation about sex.

so now onto the discussion bit, where i invite yall to comment... what have you been doing? what do wish you were doing, and why dont you close this article and do it now? youll probably be glad you did. too tired? go to sleep, or drink a coffee -though not if its after lunchtime, lets be sensible-. nothing you want to do? i feel you, bare with yourself, smoke some weed, drop a tab -though remember to tripsafe-, go for a walk -and turn this screen of if you do, lets be sensible-. get chatting with friends -if you have any; i stuggle with that too-. perhaps you even think you cant do it, couldnt ever do it, so theres no point trying. well, you probably could. your more capable than you think, than the adverts selling you the enxt thing to make you happy are inclined to tell you, even if you tell yourself you dont listen to them. if you are around them, you do. but if you really honestly couldnt ever do it, well then, whats the point in wanting it?

Tags: totwguest totwescapesuvivingthisshitworld
Categories: News

Earth First!ers, Immigrant Justice Activists, and More Have Blockaded a South Florida Immigrant Detainment Facility in Protest of ICE

It's Goin Down - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 01:26

The post Earth First!ers, Immigrant Justice Activists, and More Have Blockaded a South Florida Immigrant Detainment Facility in Protest of ICE appeared first on It's Going Down.

Report from the Earth First! newswire on continued anti-ICE blockades.

Pompano Beach, FL—Activists decrying ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and the Trump administration’s deportation system have locked down outside of Broward Transitional Center (BTC) today in Pompano Beach in protest of the agency. BTC is the primary immigrant detention facility for Broward County, run by Boca Raton-based private prison corporation GEO Group. Three activists have locked down in front of one entrance gate to the facility, two people have locked themselves to a car that is blocking the main entrance, and two more people are locked down to two separate pedestrian entrances.

Today’s action is being carried out by activists from social justice groups throughout South Florida, including Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward, Broward DSA, Broward Immigrant Justice Coalition, Everglades Earth First!, and Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs. These groups are taking part in the movement to abolish ICE, which has seen ongoing protest encampments and actions across the nation, including in Portland, Oregon, New York City, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.

Elijah Drummond, who participated in today’s demonstration, said of their involvement: “I’m here because deportations are unfair and ICE should be abolished. I think everyone should do whatever they can right now to make sure that happens.”

The #AbolishICE movement gained national attention and support after it was revealed that the Trump administration was separating members of undocumented families seeking asylum at the border and incarcerating undocumented children. Activists involved are calling for these families to be freed and reunited, and for ICE as an agency to be abolished.

Donate to the bail fund here

Categories: News

Turkish President’s Allies In Press Freedom Attack Over Paradise Papers Reporting

Global Muckracker - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 01:20

Close political allies and a family member of Turkey’s autocratic president Recep Tayyip Erdogan are suing a journalist and her newspaper over its Paradise Papers investigation.

Turkey’s former prime minister Binali Yildirim, and President Erdogan’s son-in-law and powerful treasury and finance minister Berat Albayrak, and members of their families have filed defamation actions against award-winning journalist and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists member Pelin Ünker and her newspaper, Cumhuriyet.

The influential Turkish figures do not claim factual errors or inaccuracies but seek financial penalties for alleged damage to their reputations.

In November, Cumhuriyet published a series of stories as part of the global Paradise Papers investigation that revealed how politicians, multinational corporations and criminals had hidden money offshore and avoided taxes.

President Erdogan and people close to him don’t tolerate dissent. Christophe Deloire, Reporters Without Borders

Ünker and Cumhuriyet focused on opaque dealings by some of Turkey’s most powerful individuals.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Turkey 157th of 180 countries on the 2018 World Free Press Index. RSF describes Turkey as “the world’s biggest prison for professional journalists.”

“President Erdogan and people close to him don’t tolerate dissent,” RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire told ICIJ. Investigative reporting has been increasingly targeted since 2013, Deloire said.

Related articles

“Cumhuriyet is one of Turkey’s oldest newspapers, and it is one of the country’s very last independent media outlets,” Deloire added. “Nearly all the mainstream media now belong to government-affiliated investors, and they are used to wage a propaganda war against the opposition and civil society.”

Berat Albayrak, who is Turkey’s finance minister and Erdogan’s son-in-law, accused Cumhuriyet of “calumny” after the newspaper published details about the company he formerly managed and about his brother Serhat.

Serhat Albayrak was listed as a director of a Malta company named Frocks International Trading Ltd., according to the Paradise Papers documents. The company used nominees, which can be used to conceal the identity of real shareholders.

Documents from the Maltese company registry showed that Frocks International Trading Ltd. was in the garment and textile business.

The company was set up in 2003 and closed in 2009.

Throughout the same period, Berat and Serhat Albayrak were senior managers of Turkish textile, energy and media conglomerate Çalık Holding. Berat, who married President Erdogan’s daughter in 2014, was CEO of Çalık from 2007 to 2013.

#Turkey: Istanbul court censors @RSF_tr‘s tweet annoucing Cumhuriyet reporter @pelinunker‘s trial for her #ParadisePapers revelations. #FreeTurkeyMedia! pic.twitter.com/szZZ8MbjEr

— RSF_EECA (@RSF_EECA) 10 July 2018

Çalık has expanded rapidly under the favorable gaze of Erdogan’s government, according to Cumhuriyet. The newspaper reported that Çalık received a $750 million loan from state-owned banks in 2007 in a non-competitive bid to buy a media company.

Çalık Holding told Cumhuriyet before publication that Frocks International Ltd. had never been used and had made no commercial transactions.

A Turkish court recently blocked access within Turkey to tweets about the Albayrak brothers investigation by Ünker, the Turkish Journalists Union and Reporters Without Borders.

The next court date is November 22.

Former Prime Minister’s family refuses to comment, then sues over stories

Turkey’s former prime minister Binali Yildirim and his two sons are suing Ünker and Cumhuriyet for “an attack on his personal rights.”

Cumhuriyet reported on five offshore companies in Malta of which the Yildirim brothers, Erkam and Bulent, were shareholders.

The companies owned shipping vessels, according to Cumhuriyet. Erkam was the director of two companies, Hawke Bay Marine Co. Ltd. and Black Eagle Marina Co. Ltd.

Cumhuriyet reported that public records showed one offshore company shared an address with a Turkish business that won a $7 million research and shipping-related tender from the Turkish government.

The Turkish company’s owner was Binali Yildirim’s business partner before Yildirim entered politics, Cumhuriyet reported.

The Yildirim family did not respond to Cumhuriyet’s questions before publication.

After publication, Prime Minister Yildirim defended the offshore companies as routine parts of the global maritime industry. “There is no hidden business here,” he said.

One week later, Yildirim and sons launched legal action claiming that the reporting damaged “personality rights.” The next court hearing will take place on July 17.

“People need to know these stories,” said Ünker. Turkey’s government is targeting billions of lira in new tax revenue this year, while family and political allies of the ruling party are using offshore tax havens, Ünker said.

Yildirim was Turkey’s prime minister until earlier this month when the position was abolished. He is now parliamentary speaker.

The post Turkish President’s Allies In Press Freedom Attack Over Paradise Papers Reporting appeared first on ICIJ.

Categories: News

Rustbelt Abolition Radio: Native Resistance and the Carceral State

It's Goin Down - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 00:50

The post Rustbelt Abolition Radio: Native Resistance and the Carceral State appeared first on It's Going Down.

Rustbelt Abolition Radio talks with Nick Estes, who talks about the history of incarceration and its relation to Native genocide and colonization.

Nick Estes identifies the anti-Indian origins of the carceral state within the U.S. settler colonial project and argues that indigenous liberation offers critical frameworks for understanding how to abolish it. Estes is a co-founder of The Red Nation: an anti-profit coalition dedicated to the liberation of Native Nations, lands, and peoples.

He holds a PhD in American Studies from the University of New Mexico and is a fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University.

Categories: News

Kite Line: Anti-Detention Occupations from Australia to America, Part Two

It's Goin Down - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 00:36

The post Kite Line: Anti-Detention Occupations from Australia to America, Part Two appeared first on It's Going Down.

Anti-prison radio and podcast show Kite Lines continues with coverage of ongoing occupations of deportation facilities.

Listen and Download HERE

Last week, Aren Aizura guided us through the history of colonialism in Australia, including racist measures to control non-white immigration, and later, in the 1980s, the implementation of mandatory detention for refugees. He focused on his experiences in an occupation outside the remote Woomera Detention Center, and the way that supporters on the outside grew in numbers, intensifying pressure on the authorities. Now, he walks us through the 2002 mass breakout of refugees there, all the way through the following standoff and its aftermath.

As we reflect on the inspiring actions at Woomera, we are also tracking the occupations underway across the US right now. Occupy ICE in Portland has been subjected to a brutal eviction, during which police shot occupiers with pepperballs at close range. Likewise, there was a mass arrest in San Francisco, following more than a week of occupation outside the ICE regional headquarters which halted all deportations in northern California. Occupations continue in Los Angeles, Tacoma, and Louisville, as well as many other cities.

Categories: News

Final Straw: Charles E. Cobb, Jr, on “This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed”

It's Goin Down - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 00:30

The post Final Straw: Charles E. Cobb, Jr, on “This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed” appeared first on It's Going Down.

Long running anarchist radio and podcast The Final Straw presents a talk from the author of This Non-Violent Stuff’ll Get You Killed,” about the use of firearms within the Civil Rights Movement.

Listen and Download HERE

This week we are very pleased to present a presentation done some months ago at Firestorm Books with Charles E. Cobb, Jr.  Charles Cobb is a journalist, writer, and current senior analyst at allAfrica.com, which is “is a voice of, by and about Africa – aggregating, producing and distributing news and information from over 140 African news organizations and our own reporters to an African and global public.” Cobb has had a long career full of landmark moments, for example being the first Africa correspondent for NPR and being the first Black staff writer for National Geographic Magazine, among many other achievements.

In this presentation, done on April 2nd 2018, Cobb talks about his 2014 book “This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed”, which details his work from 1962 to 1967 for the SNCC (the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), the most influential youth and student organization during the Civil Rights Movement. He also fills in a much overlooked gap in the understanding of the Civil Rights Movement, that is, the lived experiences of Black people living in the rural South at this time, gives his insights on embedding in communities for social justice purposes, and draws lessons from those insights as they pertain to the current Movement for Black Lives. In this talk he is being interviewed by Carol, who is a long time comrade and friend.

Categories: News

Hunger Strike Kicks Off at Wabash Valley

It's Goin Down - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 00:22

The post Hunger Strike Kicks Off at Wabash Valley appeared first on It's Going Down.

Report from IDOC Watch on hunger strike that kicked off on July 2nd with info on how to support. To listen to our podcast interview with IDOC Watch, go here.

IDOC Watch has received word that two inmates at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility are currently on hunger strike, protesting the violation of internal policies. The two inmates, Mjoseph Basford #260938 and Simeon Adams #249615 are being held in the Mental Health Segregation Unit of the CCU. Their strike began on July 2nd in response to “cruel, harsh, unfair, and abusive treatment the deputies dish out upon us.”

Basford and Adams detail how meal portions are not reaching the required 2800 calorie per day minimum as well as the violation of policy #02-04-102 pg 18 section P, which state that after 60 days of Disciplinary Segregation offenders are to be permitted Administrative Segregation privileges. These include: religious services, library services, education, recreation, and unrestricted commissary food items. Basford and Adams are requesting that WVCF follow its own policies regarding these matters and that they both be transferred to the mental health segregation unit at Westville where they believe they will not face the same selective treatment.

The issues these inmates bring forward touch on structural problems throughout the IDOC and Wabash Valley especially. The treatment of inmates with mental illness has been the subject of recent litigation between the Indiana ACLU and the IDOC. Indiana courts ruled in 2012 in the case of Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services Commission vs. Commissioner, Indiana Department of Correction that the IDOC was in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by keeping mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement. Just this year, a class action settlement has been reached wherein the IDOC has agreed to not keep “seriously mentally ill” inmates in solitary confinement as well as provide “standard minimum treatment” to these same prisoners.  That the IDOC is not holding up its end of the contract is obvious to all who have a loved one facing mental health issues while incarcerated in the state of Indiana. For the last few months, IDOC Watch has encouraged supporters to call Wabash Valley Correctional Facility regarding the ongoing confinement and withholding of treatment and medication from Dennis Kendall. These three inmates are far from an exception.

Additionally, restrictive diets are a universal problem throughout the IDOC. Private corporations like Aramark, which provide food services in Indiana prisons profit by serving food in containers labeled “Not fit for human consumption: for zoo animals and convicts only”. Currently, the administration at Wabash Valley is keeping the temperatures on the CCU where Mjoseph Basford and Simeon Adams are being held unbearably low. The combination of non-nutritious food and harsh environment means that many inmates must turn to commissary items to supplement their diets and caloric intake. Suspending inmates from commissary services is a typical retalialiatory practice for Corrections Officers and is nothing more nor less than consciously enforced starvation.

We believe the condition of Mjoseph Basford and Simeon Adams to be critical and are requesting all supporter to call in to Wabash Valley as well as the IDOC Central Office to voice their concern.

Please Call:

Warden Richard Brown

(812) 398-5050

and

Commissioner Robert E. Carter

(317) 232-5711

Sample Script:

“I am calling today because I am concerned about the well-being of inmates Mjoseph Basford #260938 and Simeon Adams #249615 who are currently on hunger strike. These two inmates have been on strike since July 2nd and are protesting their lack of access to Commissary as well as their insufficient meals. They are requesting to be transferred to the Westville Correctional Unit or in the case of Simeon Adams either Westville or NewCastle. They have indicated that they will not cease the strike until they are transferred. Please see to it that you remedy this matter”

Categories: News

Some Notes on the Demonstrations for Antwon Rose

It's Goin Down - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 00:09

The post Some Notes on the Demonstrations for Antwon Rose appeared first on It's Going Down.

A critical look at recuperative and reformist elements with the Antwon Rose struggle and their impact in Pittsburgh.

As everyone now knows, on June 19th East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld murdered Antwon Rose Jr. by shooting him in the back three times as he ran from a traffic stop. When a video of the shooting went viral on social media, Pittsburgh exploded in protest. Explosions are relative of course, and the riots, looting, and torched convenience stores that characterized analogous uprisings in Ferguson and Baltimore have here translated to peaceful marches to block traffic. Nonetheless the current situation is a major departure from the usual activist routine that anarchists in Pittsburgh suffer through. We offer the following points for consideration.

The cops are taking this very seriously.

Pittsburgh police chief Scott Schubert has showed up in person at at least two of the protests, and all of the actions inside Pittsburgh city limits have featured a gaggle of commanders and assistant chiefs, none of whom ordinarily work nights. Pittsburgh has also called in the PA state police on short notice for several protests. The cops call that “mutual aid,” but that doesn’t stop them from charging for it. Pittsburgh will be getting a bill from the state. The Pittsburgh cops have even switched to 12 hour shifts for the duration of the crisis, in order to monitor the protests and still carry out day-to-day oppression. This policy is reminiscent of the All Hands on Deck weekends in DC that the police union there fought against so bitterly, except it’s not just a weekend, it could last for weeks.

Yet despite the massive amounts of cops and money being thrown at the protests, arrests have been sparse. As of this writing there have been only five that we’ve heard of, not counting hecklers. This is not for lack of opportunity. The cops are obviously bending over backwards to avoid provoking an already furious community further and sparking a Ferguson style riot. One recent action provides a telling example.

On the evening of June 27th, a smallish crew held a noise demo at Rosfeld’s house near Penn Hills. The action was pre-planned, unannounced, short, and came off without a hitch except for one thing. Somehow word got out, and a bunch of latecomers rushed to Penn Hills, assuming reinforcements were needed. They got there after the first crew had gone home and taken most of the legal support with them. The “reinforcements” therefore arrived to a hornets nest of pissed off cops protecting one of their own, most of them from random boroughs in eastern Allegheny County that never see protests. It was the kind of situation guaranteed to send cold shivers up the spine of any experienced street demonstrator, but the bloodbath never happened. No arrests, no injuries. Even in Penn Frickin Hills the cops have now been inoculated against antagonizing protesters.

Anyone who thinks this forbearance indicates any good will on the part of the police should keep in mind the second prong of their strategy – shadowing every demonstration for Antwon with ridiculously obvious undercover cops (three at the morning march on the 27th had the flashers on in their unmarked cop car). Torchlight sources have spotted them at every march they have attended. People who have confronted them report that they seem very uncomfortable about being outed, so the obviousness is probably not an intimidation tactic, they’re just incompetent. They’ve still been taking tons of pictures however, presumably with the aim of identifying all the new protesters who have emerged since Antwon’s killing. This too is unprecedented here.

Stephen Zappala’s job is probably safe.

“THREE SHOTS IN THE BACK, HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY THAT!?” Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala worked harder than anyone else to come up with an answer to that question. After a week of valiant effort however, he finally threw in the towel and admitted that no, he couldn’t justify that. That hasn’t stopped self-appointed organizers from first announcing an electoral campaign to unseat Zappala, and then scrambling to recruit a Black former public defender named Turahn Jenkins to take him on in the Democratic primary next year. In their haste they skimped on their research, and missed Jenkins’ blatant homophobia. Presumably they’re going to give it another shot however. We have said this before, but the electoral approach makes a lot more sense as a strategy to remove protesters from the streets than a serious attempt to replace Zappala. Just for fun though, let’s take it at face value for a minute.

As calculated and political as Zappala’s decision to charge Rosfeld with criminal homicide was, it’ll probably be enough to mollify white liberal voters who just need to be reassured the system still works. By next year’s Democratic primaries only the angriest of liberals will still hold it against him. Right wing voters on the other hand, are going to be pissed. Pittsburgh’s Fraternal Order of Police are unlikely to be any more enthusiastic about those 12 hour shifts than their DC counterparts, and all cops will be angry with Zappala for what they consider his spineless pandering to protesters. Reactionary douchebags and closet racists, who make a sizable voting bloc, will surely feel similarly. This leaves Zappala more vulnerable from the right than the left. If he has to run to his left to fend off a progressive candidate he will leave himself even more open to a Republican opponent in the general election.

There are other scenarios, most of them also unfavorable. A centrist law and order Democrat could win the primary if Zappala splits the liberal vote with a progressive challenger. A charismatic progressive-sounding candidate could beat Zappala and then turn out to be no less malicious a prosecutor. Or of course Zappala could capitalize on the donor network and connections he has built up over two decades in office to cruise to victory.

The liberals are taking reformist Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner as a model for Allegheny County. APAB of course, but Krasner’s reforms are lifting some of the weight of the prison industrial complex from the necks of Philadelphia’s impoverished communities. Liberals still need to ask themselves which is more likely, that a newly elected DA would actually carry out a facsimile of Krasner’s program upon taking office, or instead mend fences with the police, mollify the hardliners in his office, and reassure conservative voters that he’s not crazy after all by continuing business as usual with a thicker layer of progressive rhetoric.

The one ray of hope is that there just might be a progressive rebellion emerging in the Democratic Party. It’s not impossible that after another year of Trump Allegheny County voters will be fed up enough to throw the bums out, Zappala included. Turnout is lower in odd year elections, so it wouldn’t take that many voters to elect a Krasner 2.0 if one could be found. Nonetheless an election-based strategy would mean putting an awful lot of eggs in one basket with no guarantee of success and no consolation prize.

But of course that’s the point. Pittsburgh’s liberal establishment would like nothing better than to see militant resistance burn itself out in a failed election campaign and sink back into jaded exhaustion. A successful election campaign would suit that purpose nearly as well.

Brandi Fisher is really good at co-opting militant struggles.

A t-shirt popular during the Penguins’ back-to-back Stanley Cup runs read simply “SIDNEY CROSBY IS REALLY GOOD AT HOCKEY.” By that measure Brandi Fisher of the Alliance for Police Accountability absolutely deserves a t-shirt of her own. Her performance since Antwon’s murder has been at least as scintillating as was Crosby’s, and she doesn’t even have Matt Murray backing her up.

Put another way, Brandi is near-single handedly replicating the work of Al Sharpton and the army of Black clergy that descended on Ferguson to pacify the uprising over Michael Brown’s murder. Pittsburgh isn’t St. Louis of course, but that’s still some impressive shit.

Brandi’s sheer versatility is amazing. Whether taking potential rivals under her wing, canceling their demonstrations unilaterally, or segueing seamlessly from one to the other, she doesn’t miss a beat. Freezing white anarchist groups out of protest organizing, corralling angry street marches by strategic use of a bullhorn, coordinating with her friends among the police, lining white liberal groups up behind the APA banner – all part of Brandi’s extensive repertoire.

It’s not just the highlight reel moves either. Brandi also displays the attention to detail that is the hallmark of the true superstar. Take the name of her group. By calling it an “alliance” she conveys the impression of being a part of a diverse group of organizations, all focused on the same goal. APA is nothing of the sort of course, it’s just Brandi and a few of her cronies. She gets away with this trick because she was clever enough not to call it a coalition.

Between the three of them, Brandi, Zappala, and the cops have had an effect. The huge pre-announced highway-blocking marches that characterized the first week of the uprising have given way to smaller and more sporadic actions organized mostly in secret. These types of actions aren’t as disruptive, but they’re harder to control. Brandi’s influence is weaker in the suburbs than within Pittsburgh, and a hard core of pissed off Black women is emerging who don’t take her every word as gospel. Medics and legal observers have been a small but consistent presence at nearly every action so far, as have white anarchists, despite Brandi’s attempts to exclude all three. It’s a little early to tell, but there are signs of something exciting coalescing that could last well beyond the current upheaval.

Better late than never. It shouldn’t have required a tragedy for Pittsburgh anarchists to start making connections with those at the sharp end of police oppression, but now that we have an opening we should take it. It’s not going to last forever. We have a natural affinity with the ones who refuse to be intimidated by riot cops, pacified by liberals, or lulled by reforms. The time to start talking to them is now.

Categories: News

SeaSol Backs Tenants Against Mega Landlord

It's Goin Down - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 23:42

The post SeaSol Backs Tenants Against Mega Landlord appeared first on It's Going Down.

Report from self-organized direct action group Seattle Solidarity Network on a recent campaign.

After months of targeting and harassment by the landlord, tenants from American Campus Communities (ACC) have organized an association and executed the first of many visible actions. With help from SeaSol ACC tenants held an informational picket attended by 30 tenants and community supporters on Saturday, June 30th from 11 am to 1 pm in front of ACC’s flagship building Hub in the University District. Tenants from ACC first got in touch with SeaSol in April to seek help in their fight against their massive new landlord. Over the next few months we assisted tenants with door knocking, community outreach, and putting together their first association meeting earlier in June.

American Campus Communities, Inc. is an Austin, Texas based publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) with an annual revenue of $796 million and 161 buildings over 68 campuses whose “primary business objectives are to . . . acquire and operate student housing communities”. ACC’s acquisition of Bridges@11th in October 2017 put the company’s dorm-style business model squarely in opposition to the single-family model at Bridges. ACC also purchased two more U-District buildings, TWELVE and Hub, in 2017, with ambitions to acquire ten times as many units should their Seattle market test succeed.

In the company’s first year in the city, ACC tenants have faced non-compliance of contracts and law violations including forcible entry into units by employees, illegal evictions, fraudulent billing practices, and forged documents, among a multitude of other issues. Tenants who spoke out have been targeted with increased surveillance and have even had their mail withheld.

After speaking with over 150 residents, with help from SeaSol and other organizations, tenants decided to form the ACC Tenants Association. In a letter to ACC’s CEO, Bill Bayless, the association demanded that the company “Recognize the Association’s Rights to Collectively Bargain! Stop Fraudulent Fees! Immediate Refunds of all Stolen Money! Stop Landlord Retaliation and Harassment! Rent Freeze now! Remove Illegal and Regressive Clauses From Leases! Safe And Secure Buildings! We Have the Right to Have Guests in our Homes and Spaces! Tenants Rights are Civil Rights!”

SeaSol looks forward to supporting ACC Tenants in their struggle as they utilize a diversity of tactics to win their demands. As some active tenants work to tie ACC’s hands with the legal system, others will work to build a strong direct-action presence in the community.

An Injury to One is an Injury to All!

Categories: News

Getting Ready in the Gulf

It's Goin Down - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:55

The post Getting Ready in the Gulf appeared first on It's Going Down.

Mutual Aid Disaster relief is gearing up for a new round of intervention in the hurricane season; and offering skills and workshops to anyone who wants to build power in the wake of capitalism’s crisis.

This month is filled with excitement and anxiety.  Once again, temperatures are topping records.  Once again, hurricane season is heating up.  But we are getting ready; hot on the heels of our first innovative and inspiring “Building the Movement for Mutual Aid” Training Tour, the next round begins.  Because it is always training season, always organizing season, always collaborative community building season.

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief trainers are responding to requests for workshops that will help communities around the Gulf of Mexico to prepare together.  We have scheduled trainings in Gainesville (June 22-23)Orlando (July 20-21)Lafayette (July 21-22), and Houston (July 27-28), as well as meetings with friends and allies in New Orleans and at L’eau Est La Vie Camp blockading the Bayou Bridge Pipeline.

And some of us recently connected with friends from the other side of the Gulf too – two MADRelief trainers spent the weekend with Public Lab, an open-source citizen science and community technology organization that hosted, for the first time, a “Crisis Convening” that brought together dozens of organizers, educators, scientists, technologists, librarians, mental health professionals, permaculturists, and other locals in Newark, NJ.

There, we were pleased to see some of the incredible leaders of mutual aid in Puerto Rico.  These MADRelief trainers had not yet visited Puerto Rico, but had heard so many inspiring stories about the Proyecto de Apoyo Mutuo Mariana (where MADRelief helped to put in a photovoltaic system).  An opportunity to meet and learn from members of this powerful project, along with a representative of the grassroots Maria Fund, was a moving experience.

We met many others with diverse experience in grassroots direct action disaster response, especially in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, and learned about brilliant ideas such as Social Emergency Resource Centers.  All together, we discussed best practices to share with broader networks and we began to hatch plans for future Crisis Convenings and more trainings, drills, and practice to sharpen our skills and strengthen our connections.

Stay tuned for more updates – we will be rolling out our Fall Tour schedule soon!  See our events calendar HERE, or on our facebook page.  And we have an interactive CURRICULUM PACKET & TRAINING FACILITATION GUIDE in the works – we will publish a rough draft just as soon as we can, and then you can work with others in your community to begin training and preparing.

Categories: News

Milwaukee, WI: Anarchists Storm Bastille Day Festival in Solidarity with #PrisonStrike

It's Goin Down - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:21

The post Milwaukee, WI: Anarchists Storm Bastille Day Festival in Solidarity with #PrisonStrike appeared first on It's Going Down.

Kicking off the week of support and outreach for the #August21 #PrisonStrike, anarchists in Milwaukee put on a show at the Bastille Day festival.

We, a crew of anarchists and artists, staged a spectacle at Milwaukee’s Bastille Days festival on Saturday 14 July to kick start the week of generating support for the upcoming nationwide prison strike as well as for the ongoing campaign to close our local dungeon, the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility.

We arrived semi-nude with messages of prison abolition scrawled on our bodies in paint, chanting “Liberty! Equality! For eternity!” and trumpeting vuvuzelas. Handing out flyers to strangers can be rough and slow going, but the stunt generated real interest from the crowd. We started as 8 people, and over the course of our walk through the streets of the festival, gained five more.

There were definitely some sneers, but few truly negative responses. We were approached by police only to say that “mothers” had complained (think of the children having to view our pastied boobs and speedo-swaddled buttcheeks!).

For our safety and comfort, it was key that we remained in a group, and we frequently counted our numbers to make sure no one had been separated. Once it began to rain, we took advantage of the captive audience of fair-goers huddled under trees and tents to perform a modified version of a speech from Robespierre about using terror against the enemies of liberty.

While we confused many, we also got several new likes on the social media campaigns for Close MSDF and had good interactions with people in the street about the work we are doing, which we hope will get people out to our general assembly this Wednesday 18 July during the week of support for the strike.

On the whole, this anarchist recommends getting as naked as legally permitted with your friends and putting on a show – it’s a great conversation starter.

Categories: News

Nahuatzén, Michoacán: We Will Not Permit the Imposition of Political Parties

It's Goin Down - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 21:20

The post Nahuatzén, Michoacán: We Will Not Permit the Imposition of Political Parties appeared first on It's Going Down.

This communique comes from the Indigenous Citizen Council of Nahuatzén. On July 1st, the people of Nahuatzén refused to permit the installation of voting booths in their town, demanding recognition of their movement for Indigenous self-government and autonomy. Regardless of their rejection of the political party electoral spectacle, and the formation of an Indigenous Citizen Council in the town, the Electoral Institute of Michoacán has authorized the legitimacy of an election that didn’t take place, and a political party municipal president that isn’t supported by the people. This communique denounces this political theater and solicits better organization amongst the Indigenous communities that make up the municipality of Nahuatzén and surrounding area.

Brothers and sisters; let these words show our support of the work of the women and men that, without regard to age, social condition or religious beliefs, daily carry out collective work in the Communal House. This collective work seeks to recuperate the building in its entirety and provide better services based in principles of honesty, transparency and humanism. In the following week, we will continue with the collective work projects in the neighborhoods and the surrounding areas.

These FAENAS are work days that are carried out collectively and voluntarily as a service to the community. With these collective work days, we will get rid of the political trash from our streets and neighborhoods.

The Communal House, that is to say the house of everyone, is not a house of bandits, traitors or wolves in sheep’s clothing. Political parties do not have a place here.

They will not govern again, nor will they steal and enrich themselves with the resources of the people. For more than forty years they have occupied the municipal offices by handing down power in a hereditary manner.

We denounce and make clear that the Electoral Institute of Michoacán, in complicity with Martín García Avilés (president of the State Executive Committee of the Party of the Democratic Revolution) again seeks to violate the will and peace of our community. Their intention is to impose by public force, David Eduardo Otlíca Avilés, as municipal president. What they seek is to carry out a fraud disguised as legality.

The system of elections based in political parties has never benefited Indigenous peoples. How can there be democracy when the bad government threatens to impose a municipal president in a community where there weren’t even elections? What type of democracy is it when in a municipality with nearly 30,000 inhabitants, a “president” is elected by only 1,606 votes? The Electoral Institute of Michoacán authorized this farce election demonstrating that the official institutions represent the interests of groups of power and money.

Davis Otlíca is a person who is not welcome in our town. We will continually denounce that he is illegitimate because he does not have the will of the people to govern. In the municipality we are nearly 30,000 inhabitants and he obtained only 1606 votes that he bought in a humiliating and mocking manner with gifts of tarps, umbrellas, hats, and other crumbs that he gave to the people for their vote. We know that the bad government supports him, but we have the reason and the right. Justice is on our side and we will not permit this imposition.

The capitalist state, through the Electoral Institute of Michoacán, searches in every way to impose their will, violating their own laws. In a unilateral and deceitful manner, the past January 30th, they decided to suspend the citizen consultation ordered by the Supreme Chamber of the Federal Electoral Court, located in the City of Toluca, Mexico State. This citizen consultation was meant to determine the election system of our authorities and to transition our town from the system of political parties to one of our normative system of Uses and Customs. Instead of following through with the consultation, they waited for the election date to pass to afterwards have the consultation.

NOW, WE DO NOT NEED THE CONSULTATION. ON JULY 1ST, THE WILL OF OUR COMMUNITY ALREADY DEMONSTRATED THEIR REJECTION OF THE ELECTORAL FARSE. OUR PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY WOKEN UP AND NOBODY IS GOING TO STOP US.

We will continue exercising our autonomy through our self-government supported by Article 2 of the Mexican Political Constitution that, “recognizes and guarantees the right of the Indigenous peoples and community to free determination and autonomy”; and the San Andrés Accords regarding Indigenous rights and culture.

We invite our sisters and brothers of the communities that form part of the municipality of Nahuatzén to unite with us and not allow the puppets of the bad government to install their municipal offices in your communities to rob the people. Do not allow them to violate your dignity. Enough already of the humiliation!

The united people will never be defeated!

Council yes, political parties no!

Always until the victory!

SINCERELY,

COMMUNITY OF NAHUATZÉN

INDIGENOUS CITIZEN COUNCIL OF NAHUATZÉN

JUACHI HUINAPEKUA

Categories: News

2018 Amazon Prime Day Deals for Preppers

The Organic Prepper - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 20:19

If you’re a member of Amazon Prime, tomorrow might be the Most Wonderful Day of the Year. And if you’re not yet a member, you can rectify that right Read the rest

The post 2018 Amazon Prime Day Deals for Preppers appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Categories: News

Mother & Community Members Occupy Construction Equipment to Protect Children from Fracked Gas Pipelines

It's Goin Down - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 19:53

The post Mother & Community Members Occupy Construction Equipment to Protect Children from Fracked Gas Pipelines appeared first on It's Going Down.

It’s Going Down was sent the following communique on the recent occupation of VNG Pipeline Construction Equipment to protect children at the Thurgood Marshall Elementary School and people everywhere from fracked gas pipelines.

CHESAPEAKE, Virginia – 12 people gathered at 5am on a Monday morning and readied themselves to greet construction workers at the Southside Connector Pipeline site right by Thurgood Marshall Elementary school. Banners were tied across equipment that read; “Methane Gas Blast Danger + Climate Disaster”, “Our Children Deserve Better”, “No Pipelines”, and “Blast Zone 540ft”. A handful of the participants sat on construction equipment, and others gathered nearby. The group identified one major reason for their presence- the children at Thurgood Marshall Elementary and children everywhere are put at risk by the presence of fracked/methane gas pipelines.

Community members occupy construction equipment right next to Thurgood Marshall. They held space and delayed construction for about 2 hours. Their message: “Children in the Methane Gas Blast Zone.”

The group was calm but deliberate in their message. Their concern was for the future of children here in Hampton Roads and children everywhere. The occupation of the equipment was a demonstration that children should not be put at risk in the name of profit. The police gave a warning that they would be charged with trespassing, which prompted some protestors to step away from equipment. But, one person, Kim Williams (a mother and Norfolk resident) remained in place until the police removed them from equipment and cited for trespassing. “As a parent, I am horrified by the thought of children, teachers, and school staff working daily so close to a potential methane blast. We must say no to new fossil fuel pipelines”, says Kim as she occupies the equipment.

Thurgood Marshall elementary is in the blast zone of the Southside Connector Pipeline. The group distributed literature (included below) and baked goods to Virginia Natural Gas workers with information on the hazards of a blast zone. The southside connector has a potential Blast Zone Radius of 300-600 feet depending on the operating pressure- with a max of 1,250 PSI. According to their info, in a worst-case scenario; “Homes within 540 feet of the blast were destroyed.” Thurgood Marshall Elementary is easily within 100 feet of the pipeline.

Methane gas and carbon emissions from pipelines in Chesapeake, VA and everywhere are also a significant threat for children. Each of these types of gases contribute to climate change and only accelerate climate change’s impact on sea-level rise, extreme weather, public health, and much more.

Links for more information:

Categories: News

Accelerator for Cooperatively Owned Businesses Launches

Grassroots Economic Survival - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 18:32
Link: START.COOP LAUNCHES NATION’S FIRST CO-OP ACCELERATOR

A group of veteran entrepreneurs launched Start.coop this week, the first US-based accelerator for cooperatively owned startups. The group plans to raise over $2.5 million to help startups use distributed ownership models to create economies of scale, whether through well-established group purchasing models or through newer tech based “platform co-ops.” The accelerator is accepting applications for its first class starting this July.

The unique co-ownership structure of co-ops makes them incompatible with most existing accelerators and venture capital deals. Rather than looking to sell equity to investors, these entrepreneurs are looking to share their equity with their employees, customers, or users. Entrepreneurs from a wide range of sectors have already expressed an interest in applying to the accelerator. Possible participants include a team launching a driver-owned competitor to Uber, a purchasing co-op for local energy dealers, and a tech start-up in which patients own the profits on health research. Through Start.coop, each startup will receive an initial $10,000 in cash, and will have the chance to learn best practices from established mentors.

The initiative is led by Greg Brodsky, a 41-year-old Boston-based entrepreneur who has built national purchasing co-ops in both the bicycle and craft beer industries, and who is also the board chair of the Cooperative Development Institute.

Read the rest at Start.coop

 

Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

Modo Opens Doors to Learner Drivers

Grassroots Economic Survival - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 18:28
Link: Media Release: Modo becomes the first to open the doors to Learner Drivers

Member-owned co-operative Modo announces that, effective July 3rd the carsharing service will now allow drivers 16+ with an ‘L’ (Learner) designation to join as “Green Members”. Modo is the first carsharing company in North America to open the door to learner drivers and hopes that this move will inspire the next generation to consider carsharing over car ownership.

As part of Modo’s mandate, the two-way carsharing co-op aims to provide service that is as inclusive as possible and believes this exciting step forward will give families more freedom to choose a car-free lifestyle. And for those who own a car but would rather not spend the extra insurance premium required to cover new drivers, there’s an affordability advantage as well.

With summer break upon us, it’s a great time for parents and their teens to get some practice hours in with over 600 vehicles to choose from in more than 20 municipalities across the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan. The wide variety of vehicles will give student drivers the opportunity to learn to drive everything from compact cars to minivans and trucks.

Read the rest at Modo

 

Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

Call for International Solidarity with Prison Strike 2018

It's Goin Down - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 18:09

The post Call for International Solidarity with Prison Strike 2018 appeared first on It's Going Down.

Call from the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM) for global solidarity with the #August21 prison strike.

On August 21st, people locked up in prisons throughout the United States are set to go on strike, calling attention not only to heinous abuses and inhumane conditions, but also to the ongoing enslavement of millions of people inside American prisons. After the Civil War, slavery remained institutionalized in American society through the constitution’s 13th amendment, which allows slavery to remain as punishment for a crime. In America, black people’s criminalization is enforced by police who frequently shoot black people with impunity and by judges who sentence black people to draconian sentences, ensuring their enslavement in modern-day plantations.

Facing a situation meant to stifle any glimmer of joy and humanity, people in prisons across the United States are calling attention to the “lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation’s penal ideology” by courageously going on strike from August 21st to September 9th.

The dates, chosen by prison organizers, signify the strike’s continuation with the legacies of Nat Turner, who began his rebellion on August 21, 1831, and the Attica Uprising, which began September 9, 1971. Nat Turner, who was born into slavery, took part in a major insurrection, freeing slaves from plantations and executing slave owners. The Attica Uprising, an important milestone for prison resistance in the United States, took place following the shooting of black revolutionary George Jackson by a prison guard during an escape attempt. Like Nat Turner and the Attica rebels before them, prison strikers today are fighting for black liberation and the abolition of slavery.

Revolutionaries around the world should be aware of the struggle against slavery in America’s prisons. The Trump presidency is one of the most barbaric regimes in the world today, continuing a long legacy of racism, exploitation and genocide engrained in the American state. People in prisons rising up to regain their humanity are providing some of the most inspiring resistance of the Trump era to the horrifying, dehumanizing policies of America’s judicial system.

We call on comrades around the world to join in solidarity actions with the prison strike in the United States. The American state and corporations that benefit from prison slave labor must be held accountable for their atrocities by revolutionaries through direct action in locations around the world. Actions targeting American consulates and companies benefiting from slave labor, and destroying symbols of American prison slavery will draw the world’s attention to the struggle taking place within the prisons.

Militant actions in support of the prison strike will send a powerful message of defiance to the American state and solidarity to rebels inside prison walls.

Burn the prisons!

Support the prison strike!

Long live international solidarity!

Categories: News

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